Four days after the Federal Government slammed indefinite ban on use of Twitter, prominent Nigerians have continued to flout the order.
Those who have dared the FG include Governors of Kaduna and Ondo states, Nasir El-Rufai and Rotimi Akeredolu respectively, former Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose, Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani, both former senators.
Government had on Friday imposed suspension on Twitter alleging persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Following the announcement of the ban on activities of the microblogging platform by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Justice and AGF, Abubakar Malami have directed Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF) in his office to swing into action and commence the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government’s de-activation of operations of Twitter
But prominent clerics, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye and General Superintendent, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, William Kumuyi, yesterday, posted separate tweets reacting to the ban of the microblogging platform.
Adeboye said tweeting is in accordance with Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of human rights.
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights,” the cleric tweeted.
Explaining why Deeper Life Church would remain active on Twitter, Kumuyi said his tweets were targetted at over 100 nations where the church has branches. He said the church made use of Twitter to share contents from any of the locations across the five continents.
“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” he tweeted.
Mocking the FG last night, Shehu Sani tweeted: “You have to come to Twitter to know who is in Twitter and coming is a Taboo.”
Also defying the order, yesterday, Ayodele Fayose tweeted: “Anyone they arrest will only end up being celebrated. No one should be moved by empty threats of arrest. Certainly, what has a beginning must have an end. This dictatorial govt came and shall definitely go. No shaking!
“Good days ahead” while Melaye agreed with Adeboye that “United Nations Charter of which Nigeria is a signatory and have since domesticated.”
Earlier, El-Rufai and Akeredolu, both members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), had tweeted through their verified accounts, daring Malami’s prosecution threats. At exactly 9:37 p.m. on Sunday, Kaduna governor shared an opinion article titled: “Based Nigeria: African country teaches US lesson in how to handle Big Tech tyranny”.
Akeredolu also posted a statement reacting to the night attack that claimed several lives in Igangan community in Oyo State on Sunday.
El-Rufai’s media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye said he had been outside the country for over a week, noting, “the activities of Twitter is not banned in the country.”
Spokesperson of Akeredolu, Olabode Richard, also argued that the microblogging platform was accessible to Nigerians on Sunday, adding that his principal did not make use of the Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other alternatives being explored by Nigerians.
It, however, remains unclear if the order from the office of the AGF would be effected on, Adeboye, El-Rufai, Akeredolu and other “offenders”.